The members of The 1491s—a sketch comedy group of Native Americans who first found a following on YouTube—will put their uniquely satiric spin on “American Identities in the 21st Century,” Cameron University’s current academic festival. The innovative and inventive troupe will present its unique, entertaining and thought-provoking perspectives on Friday, September 22, in the McCasland Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. The performance is open to the public at no charge.
Based in the wooded ghettos of Minnesota and buffalo grass of Oklahoma, the 1491s are—in their own words—a gaggle of Indians chock full of cynicism and splashed with a good dose of indigenous satire. This group of self-proclaimed misfits originally came together to make funny videos to put on YouTube. Since their first video in 2009, the group’s work has gone viral, earning fans around the globe with their satirical and absurd comedy. From sold out performances to appearances on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “TEDx Talks,” the group continues to grow.
The group will also present participate in a panel discussion earlier on September 22—one of three discussions that examine “Immigration, Migration, and Emigration,” a sub-theme of the academic festival. Community members are welcome to attend.
Panels will take place on the second floor of the McMahon Centennial Complex in Rooms 211/212. Beginning at 12:30 p.m., the first panel will start with a screening of “The Refugee Crisis is a Text of Our Character” featuring David Miliband, President of the International Rescue Committee. A panel discussion will follow. Panelists will include Dr. Douglas Catterall, Professor of History; Dr. Sarah Janda, Professor of History; and Dr. Diedre Onishi, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Howard Kuchta, Interim Dean, School of Graduate and Professional Studies.
At 1:45 p.m., faculty members Travis Childs, Instructor of History; Dr. Lance Janda, Professor of History, and Dr. Edris Montalvo, Associate Professor of History, will focus on “American History: Immigration, Migration, and Emigration” and the relevance of author Charles C. Mann’s bestselling books, “1491” and “1493.” The panel will be moderated by Jason Poudrier, Instructor, Office of Teaching and Learning.
At 3 p.m., the members of The 1491s—Dallas Goodtooth, Sterlin Harjo, Migizi Pensoneau, Ryan Red Corn and Bobby Wilson—will discuss how they embrace their individual identities and rebuke racism with comedic wit and serious rhetoric. Poudrier will serve as moderator.
Funding for Academic Festival X: “American Identities in the 21st Century” is made possible by the McCasland/Amquest Bank Endowed Chair, established by the McCasland Foundation in 1989 to support the university’s academic festivals. Additional funding for the appearance of The 1491s is provided by the Clodus and Pauline (Chaat) Smith Endowed Lectureship in American Indian Studies.